A comparative analysis of non-discrimination law in Europe 2017 (excerpts)

This document has been prepared for the European Commission however it reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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National experts: (..) Lithuania [:] Non-discrimination [:] Gediminas Andriukaitis

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1 PROTECTED GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION

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1.2 Grounds of discrimination

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Most countries have chosen not to define the grounds of discrimination in their implementing legislation (for instance, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia).

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Table 1: Grounds protected on the national level in various laws, whether at the federal or regional level (..)

LITHUANIAAge, gender, disability, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, ethnic origin, origin, citizenship, nationality, religion, beliefs, convictions, views, language, social status, marital and family status, intention to have a child (children), membership of political parties and nongovernmental organisations, and any other characteristics that are not connected to workrelated characteristics

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1.2.2 Religion or belief

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Most of the controversy around the implementation of the provisions of the Employment Equality Directive on religion or belief centres on the extent of any exceptions provided for organised religions (e.g. churches) and organisations with an ethos based on religion or belief (e.g. religious schools). Under Article 4(2) of the Employment Equality Directive, Member States can maintain national legislation or practices that allow churches and other public or private organisations whose ethos is based on religion or belief to treat people differently on the basis of their religion or belief. Such different treatment does not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of these activities or of the context in which they are carried out, a person’s religion or belief constitutes a genuine, legitimate and justified occupational requirement, having regard to the organisation’s ethos. This exception only allows for differential treatment on the grounds of religion or belief, and cannot be used to justify discrimination on another ground, for example sexual orientation.

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Not all countries chose to explicitly include the Article 4(2) exception: this is the case in Finland, France, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Sweden. Although the Romanian Anti-discrimination Law (Ordinance 137/2000) does not include specific provisions on an
exemption for employers with an ethos based on religion or belief to comply with the Employment Equality Directive, the provisions of Article 41 on genuine and determining occupational requirements and articles 23-26 of the Law 489/2006 on Religious Freedom and the General Status of Religious Denominations, on the employment of own employees, can be interpreted to allow ethos or religion-based exceptions. In a similar manner, in Finland, the Non-Discrimination Act does not provide for an exception for employers with an ethos based on religion or belief, but the Government proposal cites article 4(2) and additionally, it states that ‘setting such a requirement cannot lead to discrimination on another ground.’ Likewise, Serbian legislation does not include provisions based on Article 4(2), but Article 18(2) of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination contains a similar exception that is unclear and appears to provide a blanket exemption from the prohibition of discrimination for religious officials, contrary to the directive. In contrast, the following states have adopted provisions in national law which seek to rely on Article 4(2): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

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1.3 Assumed and associated discrimination

Discrimination can sometimes occur because of an assumption about another person, which may or may not be factually correct, e.g. that the person has a disability. Alternatively, a person may face discrimination because they associate with persons of a particular characteristic, e.g. a non-Roma man may be denied admission to a bar because he is with friends from the Roma community. In many countries, the application of discrimination law to such scenarios is neither stipulated nor expressly prohibited, and only future judicial interpretation will clarify this issue. This is the case for instance in Estonia, Germany,148 Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta,149 Poland, Portugal, Romania and the UK.

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2. Definitions and scope

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2.1 Forms of discrimination

2.1.1 Direct discrimination

All examined countries except Iceland and Liechtenstein have adopted legislation that reflects closely the definition of direct discrimination found within the directives in relation to the relevant grounds. In most countries, there are common elements to the definitions of direct discrimination:

– the need to demonstrate less favourable treatment;
– a requirement for a comparison with another person in a similar situation but with different characteristics (e.g. ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation);
– the opportunity to use a comparator from the past (e.g. a previous employee) or a hypothetical comparator; and
– a statement that direct discrimination cannot be justified.

These elements can be generally found in legislation in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France (although hypothetical comparison is not covered, in breach of the directives),181 Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland (although the definition of direct discrimination given in the Labour Code is still erroneous with regard to the comparator), Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (although the law does not determine whether past and hypothetical comparators are covered), Sweden and the United Kingdom [..]

Table 3: Prohibition of direct discrimination in national law (in the case of decentralised states only federal law is indicated) (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
the directives
LITHUANIALaw on Equal TreatmentArt. 2(7)YesYes

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2.1.2 Indirect discrimination

A large proportion of states have introduced a definition of indirect discrimination that generally reflects the definition adopted in the directives. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

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Table 4: Prohibition of indirect discrimination in national law (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
the directives
LITHUANIALaw on Equal TreatmentArt. 2(4)YesYes

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2.1.3 Harassment

The concept of harassment, in particular sexual harassment, was traditionally developed in the 1990s from EU gender equality legislation. Harassment in the anti-discrimination directives does not differ much from from the established baseline and is defined as unwanted conduct relating to racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.192 The majority of states have adopted definitions of harassment that appear in line with that contained in the directives. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

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Table 5: Prohibition of harassment in national law (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
directives
LITHUANIALaw on Equal TreatmentArts 2(1) and (5)YesYes
2.1.4 Instructions to discriminate

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National law varies greatly among the countries regarding the scope of liability for instructions to discriminate. In some countries, only the instructor (and not the instructed discriminator) can be held liable for instructions to discriminate. These include Estonia, Greece, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. 

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Table 6: Prohibition of instructions to discriminate in national law (in the case of decentralised states only federal law is indicated) (..)

LawArticleDefined
LITHUANIALaw on Equal TreatmentArts 2 (1) and (8)No

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2.2 Scope of discrimination

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2.2.2 Material scope

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The material scope is not fully covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Turkey. In addition, in Latvia, national law does not clearly cover vocational training outside the employment relationship, on any of the five grounds. In Lithuania, it remains doubtful whether the Racial Equality Directive has been implemented correctly in certain fields of application, such as social protection and social advantages.

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2.2.2.1 Employment

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Self-employment and/or occupation are not fully covered in Greece, 218 Lithuania, 219 Montenegro and the United Kingdom. (..)

219 Self-employment is not explicitly mentioned in the Equal Treatment Act, and legislation regulating particular professions such as attorney, notary, etc. does not provide anti-discrimination provisions. Further interpretation of the Equal Treatment Act by courts or the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman is required.

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2.2.2.2 Social protection

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(..) In Lithuania, the Equal Treatment Act does not explicitly cover social security and healthcare but it does envisage a general duty to implement equal opportunities: ‘State and local government institutions and agencies must within the scope of their competence ensure that in all the legal acts drafted and passed by them, equal rights and treatment are laid down without regard to gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, beliefs or convictions, language and social status’. This could be interpreted to encompass social security and healthcare as well, as these fields are not explicitly excluded. The Ombudsman has given a divergent reading of the issue, concluding that social security and social protection do not fall under the scope of the Equal Treatment Act, whereas healthcare does, since the wording of the act regarding goods and services is broad enough to include healthcare services.229 (..)

229 Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson (2010), Annual Report for 2010, available in Lithuanian at http://www.lygybe.lt

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2.2.2.3 Social advantages

Protection against discrimination in social advantages is not provided as required by the Racial Equality Directive in Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein and Serbia. The Lithuanian Law on Equal Treatment does not explicitly state that social benefits fall under the scope of the law, which causes inconsistencies and problems in the practical application of the law

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2.2.2.4 Education

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(..) The Lithuanian Ombudsman for Children’s Rights initiated an investigation in 2016 into the situation of children and pupils with disabilities in education across the country. The results were presented in a report and show issues of concern both of a general nature on the level of municipal coordination of policies related to persons with disabilities as well as more specific problems related to a lack of specialist assistance or of physical accessibility of schools.238 (..)

238 Ombudsman for Children’s Rights (2016), The report of Institution of the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, 2016- 03- Nr. (6.7.-2014-16)PR, available in Lithuanian at: http://www3.lrs.lt/docs2/DFFLQRXU.PDF.

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Children and pupils of Roma origin

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(..) In Lithuania, the Ombudsman for Children’s Rights investigated in 2014 the general situation of Roma children in education with the aim of discovering whether patterns of segregation, in particular in ‘special’ schools, could be discovered. Although the investigation pointed to some complex problems, it concluded that no systemic discrimination or segregation of Roma was taking place.247 (..)

247 Decision of the Ombudsman of the Rights of the Child, 19 August 2014, No 6.1- 2013-329, available in Lithuanian at: http://www3.lrs.lt/docs2/VAQQPBJE.PDF

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In addition, in many states, including Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Finland, Lithuania, Montenegro, Portugal, Turkey and the United Kingdom school absenteeism and disproportionately high drop-out rates are serious issues among the Roma, Sinti and Traveller communities. (..)

2.2.2.5 Access to and supply of goods and services

The Racial Equality Directive prohibits discrimination concerning access to and supply of goods and services, including housing, that are available to the public. The boundaries of this prohibition have generated debate in many countries, although almost half of the countries examined do not restrict protection to publicly available goods and services (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, 268 Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey).

268 Note that religious communities or associations, as well as associations founded by these religious communities or their members, are not obliged to comply with the Equal Treatment Act while providing goods and services, when the purpose of this provision is of a religious character

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As with education, discrimination against the Roma in the field of housing is a serious issue facing many states. Roma and Travellers often live on the outskirts of cities, in settlements that do not provide a basic standard of living or on parking spots considered illicit by the authorities. Some of these situations can be found in countries such as Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia (..) In Lithuania, with the specific aim of avoiding such forced evictions, the Vilnius City Municipality adopted an integration to society programme for the Roma community living in the Kirtimai settlement on the outskirts of the city.274 With regard to housing, the aim of the programme is to provide social housing options to the residents of the settlement and to offer (mainly financial) incentives to encourage voluntary resettlement.

274 Approximately 500 people live in slum-like conditions in the Kritimai settlement, which is the only one of its kind in the country.

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3 EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND POSITIVE ACTION

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3.1 Genuine and determining occupational requirements

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Both directives allow national legislation to provide an exception where the characteristic is a ‘genuine and determining occupational requirement’. Under Recital 18 of the Racial Equality Directive, in very limited circumstances, a difference of treatment may be justified where a characteristic related to racial or ethnic origin constitutes a genuine and determining occupational requirement, when the objective is legitimate and the requirement is proportionate. Such circumstances should be included in the information provided by the Member States to the Commission. All countries surveyed, except Iceland, have chosen to include
such an exception within their national legislation. (..)

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3.3 Nationality

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Table 8: Nationality is an explicitly protected ground in anti-discrimination legislation (..)

LawArticleEquality body
has explicit
mandate to deal
with nationality
If not,
does
so in
practice
LITHUANIANoNoYes

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3.6 Other exceptions

In some states, national legislation includes exceptions that are not expressly specified in the directives. Some of these may be incompatible with the directives, but it is difficult to be certain in advance of case law testing their scope. For example, in Lithuania, the Equal Treatment Act provides exceptions that relate to knowledge of the state language, participation in political activities and enjoyment of different rights on the basis of citizenship. (..)

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3.7 Positive action

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Table 9: Main grounds and fields where positive action is used in practice(..)

LITHUANIA Disability (education, employment), Ethnic origin (education), age (employment).

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4 ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT

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4.1 Judicial and administrative procedures

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4.1.1 Available procedures

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(..) In Lithuania, employment disputes commissions, regulated by the Employment Code, are the primary bodies mandated to resolve employment disputes. The responsibility for establishing an employment disputes commission in a company, agency or organisation rests with the employer. They are made up of an equal number of representatives of employers and employees. The employment disputes commission can award compensation to an individual in cases of discrimination that have breached the Labour Code. (..)

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4.1.2 Specific procedures in the public sector

(..)In Lithuania, complaints about administrative acts and acts or omissions
by civil servants and municipal employees in the field of public administration, including social protection, social advantages, education, and access to and supply of goods and services which are available to the public, can be filed with the administrative disputes commissions or the administrative courts. Such complaints can also be filed with the Parliamentary Ombudsmen’s Office (..)

4.1.3 Obstacles to effective access to justice

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The lack of sufficient financial means to pursue a case is another barrier cited in several countries and is closely related to the lack of adequate representation. In most countries, legal representation is either mandatory or – at least – necessary in practice, due to the complexity of procedures and of the legal framework. The availability of free legal aid constitutes a core requirement to ensure access to justice for victims of discrimination. In practice however, there are many countries where access to free legal
aid is either very limited or dependent on complex procedures (e.g. the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Turkey).(..)

(..) The most commonly used procedure in Lithuania at the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson has a time limit for filing complaints of three months after the commission of the acts in question. Complaints lodged after the expiry of this time limit are not investigated unless the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson decides otherwise (..)

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4.2 Legal standing and associations

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Under the directives, EU Member States have some discretion as to how this clause is implemented in terms of the type of legal standing that associations can have, and therefore national legal orders present many different patterns that are difficult to compare. In some countries, the relevant anti-discrimination legislation provides associations and/or trade unions or other organisations with some legal standing specifically in cases of discrimination. These include Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, 327 Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia and Sweden. (..)

4.2.1 Entities which may engage in procedures

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(..) In Lithuania, the Equal Treatment Act stipulates that associations whose field of activity encompasses representation in the courts of victims of discrimination on a particular ground of discrimination have the right to engage on behalf or in support of complainants, with their approval, in judicial and administrative procedures. However, it is unclear how this provision will interact with more restrictive general provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure and the Law on the Proceedings of Administrative Cases.

4.2.2 To engage ‘on behalf of’

A majority of the countries examined allow associations and/or trade unions to engage in proceedings ‘on behalf of’ victims of discrimination (i.e. representing them), including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. However, the conditions for associations to engage on behalf of victims of discrimination as well as the scope of such potential action vary among the countries. (..)

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In Lithuania, the legal standing of associations to bring cases before the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson on behalf of victims remains uncertain, in particular since 2013 when the Supreme Administrative Court held that associations can lodge a complaint with the Ombudsperson only when their own rights have been directly violated.336 (..)

336 Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania, Administrative case No A492-2078/2013, Decision of 7 November 2013

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Table 10: Legal standing in court of organisations for discrimination cases (..)

Legal standing to act on behalf of victims Legal standing to act in support of victims
LITHUANIALaw on Equal Treatment, Art. 12(2) Law on Equal Treatment, Art. 12(2)

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4.2.3 Collective redress

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(..) In Lithuania, the law does not allow associations, organisations or trade unions to represent a class action, but it does allow for class action through representation by a lawyer.

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4.4 Victimisation

Member States must ensure that individuals are protected from any adverse treatment or adverse consequences in reaction to a complaint or to proceedings aimed at enforcing compliance with the principle of equal treatment (Article 9, Racial Equality Directive; Article 11, Employment Equality Directive). There is still a major inconsistency with this principle in some states, where protection is restricted to the employment field and thereby fails to protect against victimisation in the areas outside employment protected by the Racial Equality Directive. This is the case in Germany, Lithuania, Spain, and Turkey (..)

Although the directives do not limit the protection against victimisation to the actual claimants themselves but potentially extend it to anyone who could receive adverse treatment ‘as a reaction to a complaint or to proceedings’, the protection is more restricted in several countries (..)

However, the scope of the protection is wider in most countries, such as in Italy, which includes protection for ‘any other person’ in addition to the claimant, or Estonia and Poland, where protection includes claimants as well as those who ‘support’ them. In Romania, protection against victimisation is not limited to the complainant but extends to witnesses, while the Lithuanian Equal Treatment Act repeats the wording of the Employment Equality Directive. (..)

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Table 11: Prohibition of victimisation in national law (..)

LawArticleProtection
extended outside
employment
LITHUANIALaw on Equal TreatmentArt. 7(8)No

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4.5 Sanctions and remedies

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There appear to be no limits either in relation to pecuniary or non-pecuniary damages in the national laws of Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Finland, France, Germany, 378 Greece, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, 379 Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, 380 Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. (..)

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5 EQUALITY BODIES

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(..) Bodies that already existed but which have been given the functions designated by Article 13 include the Cypriot Ombudsman,388 the Estonian Chancellor of Justice and Commissioner for Gender Equality and Equal Treatment, the Lithuanian Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson, the Maltese National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, the Slovak National Centre for Human Rights and the Croatian Ombudsman. (..)

5.1 Grounds covered

The minimum requirement on Member States is to have one or more bodies for the promotion of equality irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (..)

Table 12: Relevant specialised bodies dealing with racial/ethnic origin and the grounds covered by their mandates (..)

CountryRelevant specialised body dealing with
race/ethnic origin
Does this body cover other grounds than race
or ethnic origin as specified by Article 13? If
so, which ones?
LITHUANIAEqual Opportunities Ombudsperson
(Law on Equal Treatment, Arts 14-30
Gender, race, nationality, origin, age, sexual
orientation, disability, ethnic origin, language, social status, religion, belief, convictions, views

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5.2 Competencies of equality bodies

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Out of the 36 specialised bodies, 31 have a mandate to provide independent assistance to victims and five do not. The countries where the relevant bodies do not officially have a mandate to provide such assistance include: Cyprus (although in practice both the Equality Authority and the Anti-discrimination Authority advise victims informally of their rights), Estonia (the Chancellor of Justice, which nevertheless does so in practice), Lithuania, the Netherlands (the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights), and Norway. (..) The mandate of the Lithuanian Ombudsperson covers the provision of ‘independent consultations’, which could eventually be interpreted to include some form of independent assistance to victims. In practice, to some extent the Ombudsperson advises applicants on available
judicial and administrative procedures to pursue justice.

Of the 36 specialised bodies, 35 have a mandate to conduct independent surveys while only one, the Estonian Chancellor of Justice, does not. (..)

Almost all specialised bodies have a mandate to publish independent reports, with the exception of the Estonian Chancellor of Justice (..)

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Although the directive does not require it, a number of specialised bodies (e.g. in Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Hungary, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Sweden) can investigate complaints of discrimination and can usually compel compliance with their investigations from all persons involved.(..)

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(..) Only 13 of these 39 bodies are quasi-judicial institutions: in Austria (the Equal Treatment Commission), Bulgaria (the Protection against Discrimination Commission), Cyprus (the Equality Authority and Anti-Discrimination Authority), Denmark (the Board of Equal Treatment), Estonia (the Chancellor of Justice),397 the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (the Commission for Protection against Discrimination), Hungary (the Equal Treatment Authority), Lithuania (the Equal Opportunities Ombudsperson), the Netherlands (the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights), Norway (the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Tribunal),398 Romania (the National Council on Combating Discrimination) and Serbia (the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality). (..)

Among these 13 bodies, nine can issue binding decisions. This is the case for the Bulgarian, Cypriot, 399 Danish, 400 Estonian, 401 Finnish, Hungarian, Lithuanian, 402Romanian and Serbian bodies. (..)

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(..) In Lithuania, the work and reputation of the Ombudsperson’s Office suffered during several years when Parliament was unable to appoint a new head of the Office. However, since the appointment in 2016 of the current Ombudsperson, the institution has taken important steps towards a strengthened position and further efficiency, including monitoring the implementation of its decisions and increasing its visibility. (..)

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6 IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE

6.1 Dissemination of information and social and civil dialogue

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6.1.1 Dissemination of information and awareness-raising

(..) The Lithuanian Government approved the new edition of the Inter-institutional Action Plan for the Promotion of Non-discrimination for 2015-2020,409 appointing the Ombudsperson as one of the main institutions responsible for its implementation. Despite significant efforts and a number
of relevant initiatives in the past years, the most substantial measures that were planned for 2016 were not implemented due to bureaucratic failures or lack of financial resources. (..)

409 Lithuania, Decision of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, available in Lithuanian at http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=1006990&p_tr2=2

The mandates of specialised bodies in most countries include awareness-raising activities, for instance in Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Lithuania, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom (..)

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Annexes

Annex 1. Main national specific anti-discrimination legislation

CountryConstitutional
anti-discrimination
provisions
Main specific anti-discrimination legislation Grounds covered
LITHUANIAArticle 29 of the
Constitution
Law on Equal Treatment of 18 November 2003, as last amended in 2016 Gender, race, nationality, language,
origin, social status, belief,
convictions or views, age, sexual
orientation, disability, ethnic origin
or religion
Law on Social Integration of People with Disabilities of 28 November 1991, as last amended in 2013 Disability

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Annex 2. Signature/ratification of international convention

LITHUANIA. Ratified: European Convention on Human Rights, Revised European Social Charter, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, ILO Convention No 111 on Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Not signed: Protocol 12, ECHR

Annex 3. National specialised bodies

Country: Lithuania

Specialised body designated by law in compliance with Article 13: Equal
Opportunities Ombudsperson
(Law on Equal Treatment, Arts 14 and 15, Law on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, Art. 24)


This document has been prepared for the European Commission however it reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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National experts: (..) Latvia [:] Non-discrimination [:] Anhelita Kamenska

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1 PROTECTED GROUNDS OF DISCRIMINATION

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1.2 Grounds of discrimination

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Although anti-discrimination provisions still exist in various pieces of legislation in some countries (e.g. Bulgaria and Latvia), this method has largely been replaced by more general antidiscrimination provisions and legislation.

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Table 1: Grounds protected on the national level in various laws, whether at the federal or regional level

(..) Latvia: Race, ethnic origin, colour, skin colour, age, disability, health condition, state of health, religious, political or other conviction, religious and political belief, national and/or social origin, gender, property status, family status, marital status, sexual orientation, occupation, place of residence, other circumstances

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1.2.2 Religion or belief

Most of the controversy around the implementation of the provisions of the Employment Equality Directive on religion or belief centres on the extent of any exceptions provided for organised religions (e.g. churches) and organisations with an ethos based on religion or belief (e.g. religious schools). Under Article 4(2) of the Employment Equality Directive, Member States can maintain national legislation or practices that allow churches and other public or private organisations whose ethos is based on religion or belief to treat people differently on the basis of their religion or belief. Such different treatment does not constitute discrimination where, by reason of the nature of these activities or of the context in which they are carried out, a person’s religion or belief constitutes a genuine, legitimate and justified occupational requirement, having regard to the organisation’s ethos. This exception only allows for differential treatment on the grounds of religion or belief, and cannot be used to justify discrimination on another ground, for example sexual orientation.

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Not all countries chose to explicitly include the Article 4(2) exception: this is the case in Finland, France, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Sweden. Although the Romanian Anti-discrimination Law (Ordinance 137/2000) does not include specific provisions on an
exemption for employers with an ethos based on religion or belief to comply with the Employment Equality Directive, the provisions of Article 41 on genuine and determining occupational requirements and articles 23-26 of the Law 489/2006 on Religious Freedom and the General Status of Religious Denominations, on the employment of own employees, can be interpreted to allow ethos or religion-based exceptions. In a similar manner, in Finland, the Non-Discrimination Act does not provide for an exception for employers with an ethos based on religion or belief, but the Government proposal cites article 4(2) and additionally, it states that ‘setting such a requirement cannot lead to discrimination on another ground.’ Likewise, Serbian legislation does not include provisions based on Article 4(2), but Article 18(2) of the Law on the Prohibition of Discrimination contains a similar exception that is unclear and appears to provide a blanket exemption from the prohibition of discrimination for religious officials, contrary to the directive. In contrast, the following states have adopted provisions in national law which seek to rely on Article 4(2): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

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1.3 Assumed and associated discrimination

Discrimination can sometimes occur because of an assumption about another person, which may or may not be factually correct, e.g. that the person has a disability. Alternatively, a person may face discrimination because they associate with persons of a particular characteristic, e.g. a non-Roma man may be denied admission to a bar because he is with friends from the Roma community. In many countries, the application of discrimination law to such scenarios is neither stipulated nor expressly prohibited, and only future judicial interpretation will clarify this issue. This is the case for instance in Estonia, Germany,148 Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta,149 Poland, Portugal, Romania and the UK.

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2. Definitions and scope

2.1 Forms of discrimination

2.1.1 Direct discrimination

All examined countries except Iceland and Liechtenstein have adopted legislation that reflects closely the definition of direct discrimination found within the directives in relation to the relevant grounds. In most countries, there are common elements to the definitions of direct discrimination:
– the need to demonstrate less favourable treatment;
– a requirement for a comparison with another person in a similar situation but with different characteristics (e.g. ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation);
– the opportunity to use a comparator from the past (e.g. a previous employee) or a hypothetical comparator; and
– a statement that direct discrimination cannot be justified.
These elements can be generally found in legislation in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France (although hypothetical comparison is not covered, in breach of the directives),181 Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland (although the definition of direct discrimination given in the Labour Code is still erroneous with regard to the comparator), Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (although the law does not determine whether past and hypothetical comparators are covered), Sweden and the United Kingdom

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Although the Latvian definition of direct discrimination appears to be in line with the directives, the general justification – applicable in fields such as education, access to and provision of goods and services, social protection and social advantages – does not distinguish between direct and indirect discrimination.

(..)

Table 3: Prohibition of direct discrimination in national law (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
the directives
LatviaLabour LawArt. 29(5)YesYes
Law on Prohibition of Discrimination against
Natural Persons -Economic Operators
Art. 4(2)YesYes
Consumer Rights Protection LawArt. 3.1 (6)YesYes
Law on Social SecurityArt. 2.1 (3)YesYes

2.1.2 Indirect discrimination

A large proportion of states have introduced a definition of indirect discrimination that generally reflects the definition adopted in the directives. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

(..)

Table 4: Prohibition of indirect discrimination in national law (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
the directives
LatviaLabour LawArt. 29(6)YesYes
Law on Prohibition of Discrimination against Natural Persons -Economic OperatorsArt. 4(2)YesYes
Consumer Rights Protection LawArt. 3.1 (6)YesYes
Law on Social SecurityArt. 2.1 (4)YesYes

2.1.3 Harassment

The concept of harassment, in particular sexual harassment, was traditionally developed in the 1990s from EU gender equality legislation. Harassment in the anti-discrimination directives does not differ much from from the established baseline and is defined as unwanted conduct relating to racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.192 The majority of states have adopted definitions of harassment that appear in line with that contained in the directives. This includes Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

(..)

Table 5: Prohibition of harassment in national law (..)

LawArticleDefinedDefinition
equivalent to
the directives
LatviaLabour LawArt. 29(7)YesYes
Law on Prohibition of Discrimination against Natural Persons -Economic OperatorsArt. 3. 1(8)YesYes
Consumer Rights Protection LawArt. 2.1 (5)YesYes
Law on Social SecurityArt. 2.1 (6)YesYes
Law on the Support of Unemployed and Job
Seekers
2. 1 (6)YesYes

2.1.4 Instructions to discriminate

(..)

National law varies greatly among the countries regarding the scope of liability for instructions to discriminate. In some countries, only the instructor (and not the instructed discriminator) can be held liable for instructions to discriminate. These include Estonia, Greece, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, and the Netherlands. However, in a large majority of the countries, both the instructor and the discriminator can be held liable, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

(..)

Table 6: Prohibition of instructions to discriminate in national law

LawArticleDefined
LatviaLabour LawArt. 29(4)No
Law on Prohibition of Discrimination against Natural Persons -Economic OperatorsArt. 2. 1
(5)
No
Consumer Rights Protection LawArt. 3. 1
(7)
No
Law on Social SecurityArt. 2. 1
(2)
No

2.2 Scope of discrimination

(..)

2.2.2 Material scope

(..)

The material scope is not fully covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Serbia and Turkey. In addition, in Latvia, national law does not clearly cover vocational training outside the employment relationship, on any of the five grounds.

(..)

2.2.2.1 Employment

(..)

Military service is not included in the scope of legislation transposing the directives in Latvia (..)

2.2.2.5 Access to and supply of goods and services

The Racial Equality Directive prohibits discrimination concerning access to and supply of goods and services, including housing, that are available to the public. The boundaries of this prohibition have generated debate in many countries, although almost half of the countries examined do not restrict protection to publicly available goods and services (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,268 Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Spain and Turkey).

(..)

3 EXCEPTIONS TO THE PRINCIPLE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND POSITIVE ACTION

The directives are based on a dichotomy between direct discrimination, which cannot be justified, and indirect discrimination, which is open to objective justification. Most countries have complied with this approach, although there are some states where it may be argued that national law continues to permit the justification of direct discrimination (e.g. Latvia280 and Slovenia with regard to the ground of race and ethnicity).

Footnote 280 Latvian legislation in fields such as social security, education and access to goods and services does not distinguish between direct and indirect discrimination, thereby causing confusion regarding the limits of the possibility of justifying (indirect) discrimination. See for instance Article 2.1 (1) of the Law on Social Security.

(..)

3.2 Armed forces and other specific occupations

Article 3(4) Employment Equality Directive
‘Member States may provide that this Directive, in so far as it relates to discrimination on the grounds of disability and age, shall not apply to the armed forces.’

(..)

Others have simply maintained age and capability requirements in their regulations on the armed forces without expressly declaring an exemption from the equal treatment principle, e.g. Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Spain.

(..)

3.3 Nationality

Article 3(2) Racial Equality Directive and Employment Equality Directive
‘This Directive does not cover differences of treatment based on nationality and is without prejudice to provisions and conditions relating to the entry into and residence of third-country nationals and stateless persons in the territory of Member States, and to any treatment which arises from the legal status of the third-country nationals and stateless persons concerned.’

(..)

Table 8: Nationality is an explicitly protected ground in anti-discrimination legislation

LawArticleEquality body
has explicit
mandate to deal
with nationality
If not,
does
so in
practice
LatviaNoNoNo

(..)

3.7 Positive action

Article 5 of the Racial Equality Directive and Article 7(1) of the Employment Equality Directive
‘With a view to ensuring full equality in practice, the principle of equal treatment shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or adopting specific measures to prevent or compensate for disadvantages linked to any of the grounds referred to in Article 1.’

(..)

Table 9: Main grounds and fields where positive action is used in practice

LatviaDisability, age. (employment)

(..)

4 ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND EFFECTIVE ENFORCEMENT

4.1 Judicial and administrative procedures

4.1.1 Available procedures

Some non-judicial proceedings are general but provide an effective forum for discrimination cases, whereas others have been established especially for discrimination cases as an alternative dispute resolution procedure, complementary to the normal courts. Among the general non-judicial procedures are inspectorates, ombudsmen and human rights institutions.

Labour inspectorates are charged with enforcing employment law, including equal treatment provisions, in the Czech Republic, Finland,310 Latvia, France, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain.

(..)

Some countries propose conciliation, such as Austria (mandatory for disability cases)313 or Latvia where the Ombudsman’s Office examines and reviews complaints of human rights violations and attempts to resolve conflicts through conciliation, which, if unsuccessful, is followed by non-binding recommendations.

4.1.2 Specific procedures in the public sector

(..)

Cases of alleged discrimination by public institutions in Latvia can be filed with the same public institution that has treated the person differently, with a higher institution, with an administrative court, or with the public prosecutor’s office.

(..)

4.2 Legal standing and associations

Article 7(2) of the Racial Equality Directive and Article 9(2) of the Employment Equality Directive ‘Member States shall ensure that associations, organisations or other legal entities which have, in accordance with the criteria laid down by their national law, a legitimate interest in ensuring that the provisions of [these Directives] are complied with, may engage, either on behalf or in support of the complainant, with his or her approval, in any judicial and/or administrative procedure provided for the enforcement of obligations under [these Directives].’

Under the directives, EU Member States have some discretion as to how this clause is implemented in terms of the type of legal standing that associations can have, and therefore national legal orders present many different patterns that are difficult to compare. In some countries, the relevant anti-discrimination legislation provides associations and/or trade unions or other organisations with some legal standing specifically in cases of discrimination. These include Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece,327 Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Serbia and Sweden. In a number of countries however, no such specific provision is made for cases of discrimination, although general provisions of civil, administrative or labour law provide some standing to associations under certain conditions (e.g. Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey).

(..)

4.2.2 To engage ‘on behalf of’

A majority of the countries examined allow associations and/or trade unions to engage in proceedings ‘on behalf of’ victims of discrimination (i.e. representing them), including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey. However, the conditions for associations to engage on behalf of victims of discrimination as well as the scope of such potential action vary among the countries. (..)

(..). In Latvia, organisations and foundations whose aims are the protection of human rights and individual rights may represent victims of discrimination in court, but as of 4 January 2014 this option exists only before the lower instance courts.334 Thus, an association having acted on behalf of a victim of discrimination before the first two instances may no longer appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal before the Court of Cassation, where a barrister needs to be present. Until the entry into force of this amendment, most cases of discrimination were brought before the civil courts by NGOs or legal practitioners other than barristers, which may indicate that the amended provisions could have a very negative impact on the (already low) number of court decisions in discrimination cases in Latvia. However, in 2003 the Constitutional Court found a similar provision to be in violation of the Constitution, and it was repealed.335

Footnote 334 Amendments to the Civil Procedure Law, 19 December 2013, published in the Latvian Herald 2(5061), 3 January 2014, available in Latvian at: www.vestnesis.lv/?menu=doc&id=263490.
Footnote 335 Decision of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Latvia in Case No 2003-04-01 of 27 June 2003, available in Latvian at:
http://www.satv.tiesa.gov.lv/?lang=1&mid=19.

(..)

Table 10: Legal standing in court of organisations for discrimination cases

Legal standing to act on behalf of victimsLegal standing to act in support of victims
LatviaLaw on Organisations and Foundations, Art.
10(3)
Administrative Procedure Law, Art. 138

4.2.3 Collective redress

(..)

Neither actio popularis nor class action is permitted in discrimination cases in the following countries: the Czech Republic, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden and Turkey.

4.3 Burden of proof

(..)

A minority of states appear to have failed to introduce burden of proof provisions in line with the directives. In Latvia, the shift of the burden of proof applies mainly to employment, but also to education and access to goods and services.

(..)

4.4 Victimisation

(..)

Table 11: Prohibition of victimisation in national law

LawArticlesProtection
extended outside
employment
LatviaLabour Law109Art. 9Yes

Footnote 109 Victimisation is also dealt with outside the employment field in the following laws: the 1995 Law on Social Security, Art. 34(2), the 1999 Law on Consumer Protection, Art. 3(1), and the 2012 Law on Prohibition of Discrimination against Natural Persons who are Economic Operators, Art. 6.

4.5 Sanctions and remedies

(..)

In Latvia, there is no maximum amount for damages under civil law, but the Reparation of Damages caused by State Administrative Institutions Act sets maximum amounts of damages for material harm at EUR 7 115, or EUR 9 960 in cases of grievous bodily harm, and EUR 28 457 if life has been endangered or grievous harm has been caused to health. The maximum amount of damages for non-pecuniary harm is set at EUR 4 269 or EUR 7 115 in cases of grave non-pecuniary harm and EUR 28 457 if life has been endangered or grievous harm has been caused to health. It is as yet unclear whether the courts would award damages for both material and non-pecuniary harm in cases of discrimination. The definitions of material and non-pecuniary harm permit cases of discrimination to be brought under both, and the law permits applications for several kinds of damages at the same time

(..)

5 EQUALITY BODIES


Article 13, Racial Equality Directive:
‘Member States shall designate a body or bodies for the promotion of equal treatment of all persons without discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin. These bodies may form part of agencies charged at national level with the defence of human rights or the safeguard of individuals’ rights.’

(..)

Table 12: Relevant specialised bodies dealing with racial/ethnic origin and the grounds covered by their mandates

CountryRelevant specialised body dealing with
race/ethnic origin
Does this body cover other grounds than race
or ethnic origin as specified by Article 13? If
so, which ones?
LatviaOmbudsman, (Law on Ombudsman,
Art. 11 (2)
Grounds not specified, hence any ground

(..)

In 24 countries, 27 bodies deal with the five grounds protected by the two anti-discrimination directives and other grounds. In Latvia and Poland no grounds are specified under the competencies of the body.

5.2 Competencies of equality bodies

Overall, the majority of countries comply with the requirements of the Racial Equality Directive and have provided the relevant equality bodies with a mandate to exercise all four competencies listed under Article 13. However, this does not mean that all of them exercise the full range of their competencies in practice. Priorities and focus points may change over time, but budget and staff concerns can also impact the effectiveness of equality bodies.

In terms of the specific powers of specialised bodies, it is notable that the relevant bodies support victims of discrimination in a variety of ways. Member States must ensure that ‘associations, organisations or other legal entities’ may engage in support of complainants in judicial or administrative proceedings, but such engagement is not required by the directive. Some specialised bodies provide support in taking legal action – for example the Belgian, Bulgarian, Finnish, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Serbian, Swedish, British, Northern Irish, Norwegian and Croatian bodies. Others give their – usually non-binding – opinion on complaints submitted to them, e.g. the Austrian Equal Treatment Commission and the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights, the Danish Board of Equal Treatment, the Hungarian Equal Treatment Authority, the Latvian Ombudsman’s Office, the Greek Ombudsman and the Slovenian Advocate of the Principle of Equality. Such proceedings do not preclude the victim from subsequently taking legal action before the courts with a view to obtaining a binding remedy.

Article 13, Racial Equality Directive:
‘Member States shall ensure that the competences of these bodies include:
• without prejudice to the right of victims and of associations, organisations or other legal entities referred to in Article 7(2), providing independent assistance to victims of discrimination in pursuing
their complaints about discrimination,
• conducting independent surveys concerning discrimination,
• publishing independent reports and making recommendations on any issue relating to such discrimination.’

Out of the 36 specialised bodies, 31 have a mandate to provide independent assistance to victims and five do not. The countries where the relevant bodies do not officially have a mandate to provide such assistance include: Cyprus (although in practice both the Equality Authority and the Anti-discrimination Authority advise victims informally of their rights), Estonia (the Chancellor of Justice, which nevertheless does so in practice), Lithuania, the Netherlands (the Netherlands Institute for Human Rights), and Norway.

(..)

Independence, but also effectiveness is greatly affected by the available budget for equality bodies. In the past, the budget cuts following the economic crisis have had an impact, for instance, in Ireland, Hungary and the United Kingdom. Financial cuts in previous years had already affected Ireland, Latvia, and the UK. (..)

6. IMPLEMENTATION AND COMPLIANCE

(..)

6.2 Ensuring compliance

(..)

In some jurisdictions, an entire agreement is invalidated if it includes a discriminatory clause (e.g. Germany). However, legislation that can annul individual discriminatory rules in contracts or collective agreements, internal rules of undertakings or rules governing the independent occupations and professions and workers’ and employers’ organisations is more common among the Member States. This is the case in the Netherlands where the main equal treatment acts stipulate that ‘agreements’ that are in contravention of the equal treatment legislation are void. General labour law is relied on to this end in many countries, including Hungary,,426 where Article 27 of the Labour Code provides that an agreement (individual or collective) that violates labour law regulations is void. If annulled or successfully contested the agreement is invalid (Article 28) and, if invalidity results in loss, compensation must be paid (Article 30). Similar general labour law provisions are found in Italy (Article 15 of the Workers’ Act), Latvia (Article 6 of the Labour Act)

(..)

Annexes

Annex 1. Main national specific anti-discrimination legislation

CountryConstitutional
anti-discrimination
provisions
Main specific anti-discrimination legislationGrounds covered
LatviaArticle 91 of the
Constitution
Labour Law of 20 June 2001, as
last amended in 2016
Race, skin colour, age, disability, religious, political or other conviction, national or social origin, property or marital status, sexual orientation “or other circumstances”
Law on Prohibition of
Discrimination against Natural
Persons – Economic Operators of
19 December 2012
Gender, age, religious, political or
other conviction, sexual orientation,
disability, race or ethnic origin

Annex 2. Signature/ratification of international convention

LATVIA. Ratified: European Convention on Human Rights, Revised European Social Charter, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, ILO Convention No 111 on Discrimination, Convention on the Rights of the Child, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Signed: Protocol 12, ECHR

Annex 3. National specialised bodies

Country: Latvia

Specialised body designated by law in compliance with Article 13: Ombudsman, (Law on Ombudsman, Art. 11(2))

Grounds covered other than racial or ethnic origin:  Gender, race, nationality, origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin, language, social status, religion, belief, convictions, views

Provides independent assistance to victims:  No 16

16 In practice, the Ombudsperson is doing consultancy work, and, possibly advising the applicants with regard to which procedural ways to pursue justice.

Conducts independent surveys: Yes

Publishes independent reports: Yes

Issues recommendations:  Yes

Is a quasi-judicial body:  Yes

Its decisions are binding: Yes 17

17 The Ombudsperson’s administrative sanctions are binding but not her/his recommendations.


Document data: published in November 2017, based on information current on 01.01.2017 ISBN 978-92-79-75353-4 Link: https://www.equalitylaw.eu/downloads/4489-a-comparative-analysis-of-non-discrimination-law-in-europe-2017-pdf-1-35-mb

Publisher’s note: Older analogous annual reports on the issue can be found at http://providus.lv/article_files/1575/original/ke7807323_en.pdf?1332248757 (2007 edition), at publications.europa.eu (2010-2014), at equalitylaw.eu (2015-2016)

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